Governor Larry Hogan announced a premium rate decrease for health insurance plans in Maryland.
The Maryland Insurance Administration has approved an average 10.3% premium rate decrease for individual health insurance plans with an effective date of January 1, 2020.
The new rates reflect the impact of the State Reinsurance Program, which has helped to lower rates and stabilize the individual health insurance market after years of major premium increases.
Coupled with last year’s decrease of 13.2%, the two-year cumulative impact is a rate decrease of more than 22% versus 2018 premiums.
“By addressing this crisis head-on, we have gone from an individual market on the brink of collapse to two straight years of lower premiums for Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Last year, after we refused to accept Washington’s failure to act, we came together to deliver lower rates for the first time in more than a decade. Our innovative program to make healthcare more affordable for Marylanders serves as a model for the rest of the nation.”
In 2018, facing predicted health insurance rate increases of up to 50%, the Hogan administration worked in bipartisan fashion with legislative leaders to develop landmark legislation establishing a state reinsurance program.
The legislation directed the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to submit a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the U.S. Secretaries of Health, Human Services, and Treasury to establish the program. The legislation combined with this waiver set up a reinsurance pool to provide funding for catastrophic claims for policyholders in the individual market.
“After years of devastating rate increases, it is certainly gratifying to see our individual market begin to stabilize,” said Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr. “The approved rates have improved over what was originally proposed, due to the hard work of our Chief Actuary and his team, as well as the collaborative work of the insurer’s actuarial teams. We are hopeful that those Marylanders that continue to go uninsured will investigate the benefits and federal subsidies that may be available to them.”
To assist the administration in making its rate decision, MIA actuaries reviewed the data, methodologies, and assumptions companies used to develop their proposed premium rates. The MIA also considered public comments, along with other relevant factors, in determining whether to approve, modify or deny requested rates.
Summaries of each rate decision are available on the MIA’s rate review website at www.HealthRates.mdinsurance.state.md.us